Emily Mead
April 11, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Vogue’s inimitable ”StyleFax” columnist has penned a heartfelt but lighter-than-pashmina paean to the two women who made him a fixture in ”the chiffon trenches of fashion”: his poor but proud grandmother, who reared him in Durham, N.C., and mentor Diana Vreeland, the legendary former Vogue editor. At first glance, Mama and Mrs. Vreeland could not be more different, but both instilled the same values: Stay true to yourself, act with dignity, and appreciate luxury. Though he casually refers to Halston’s dinners of cocaine and caviar and lounging on Karl Lagerfeld’s terrace in Biarritz, he never forgets that ”the gilding and artifice…however wonderful, are not the only things on earth.” Mama would be proud.

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